Baby, white people are mad at the all-black cast of “The Wiz” and I’m tickled for two reasons. I am going to give a disclaimer. This will be hella petty! Hey- it’s what you’ve come to expect from me, right? Moving on.
Is White America so wrapped up in her OWN privilege that NOBODY realized that “The Wiz” was a black adaptation of “The Wizard of Oz?”
The uninformed crybabies on Twitter were so pissy that I was going to gift Pampers to corporate. The irony of this whole situation is that there was a mixed choir and the dance ensemble was mixed as well. There was a white guy, whom I WILL NOT assume was gay, in the front serving fantabulous hand geometry, honey! And correct me if I’m wrong but were there ANY black people in “The Wizard of Oz” (And the flying monkeys don’t count to any asshole troll that thinks about trying it)?
“The Wiz” is hands down THE blackest musical on Earth. Black people LOVE “The Wiz”. I know at least 100 people including my daughter, niece, sister and myself who know the entire discography. I’m not joking. I have anticipated this performance since it was first announced. It is one of my all-time favorite films and Stephanie Mills turned it out on Broadway.
So how did last night’s performance measure up to these two amazing pieces?
Well, it seems like most of the social media (my Facebook friends) shared the same sentiment as I. Black Twitter was way kinder. White folks were crying racism and NBC hand-delivered the black people of America, “The Wiz-Lite.”
There were some “sangers” (yes sangers) like Uzo Aduba, Neyo, Mary J. Blige, Mykal Kilgore and Elijah Kelley but “Dorothy” portrayed by Shanice Williams, has a pretty voice but she lacked soul. My uncle, Alan, politely called her “Community Theatre Dorothy.”
NBC fell short. It felt like NBC was drawing the line at a “blackity black” production. It seems that much more thought and preparation went into last year’s “Sound of Music” with Carrie Underwood.
The costumes were on point, but it seemed the budget for “The Wiz” was cut in half. The “Brand New Day” performance is over the top in the screenplay. It was sexy and carnal. The ensemble wore flesh-colored leotards. This cast looked like they were dressed by Richard Simmons. WTH?
And can we talk about the dialogue? Why were they speaking like old negro slaves? What exec at NBC thought that THIS would be proper? Hell, I was waiting for “Chicken George” to start shucking and jiving…it was so bad at one point. Dorothy was a school teacher in “The Wiz” and from New York City. Ok, this chica was from Omaha. Are there any black readers from Omaha reading this? Do y’all say “conversate” and “folkd”? I was lost. Help a sister understand.
Overall, I loved how Black America came together to make sure that this production was successful. There were some hits and some misses but this diverse cast, definitely, made me feel proud.
You can sleep easy, my Caucasian friends. It’s all over. You can go back to your all-white programming now.
K. Araújo, a native Detroiter, is a cross between Claire Huxtable, Rosie Pérez and Millie Jackson. Widow, bruja, Oni Yemaya, palera, professional dragger of filth and Mami to the dopest Ethiopian EVER, she is the Editor in Chief of “Negra With Tumbao”, Staff Writer for “The Urban Twist” and a freelance contributor for major publications like The Root, VSB, Huffington Post, My Brown Baby and The Glow Up. She has been known to shake what her mama gave her, is the hell and high water, an expert salsera and cussologist with a penchant for the finer things in life and is and forever shall be- unapologetically black.